Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum, head coach of IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, is reported to be keen on the England job. Image Credit: Sportzpics for BCCI

London: Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum is a contender to take over as England Test coach, the BBC and other British media reported.

Chris Silverwood left the role in February in the aftermath of their 4-0 Ashes defeat in Australia, with Paul Collingwood named as caretaker. The England and Wales Cricket Board then invited applications for separate Test and white-ball coaches.

The reports said 40-year-old McCullum, who is currently in charge of Indian Premier League side Kolkata Knight Riders, was keen on taking the job and that an announcement was expected this week.

Former South Africa and India head coach Gary Kirsten has been linked with the role, while Collingwood was also considered a candidate.

McCullum played the last of his 101 Tests at Christchurch in February 2016 against Australia, where he hit the fastest century in the format (54 balls), finishing his career with 6,453 runs including 12 tons and 31 half-centuries.

If named, ‘Baz,’ as the New Zealander is nicknamed, will be the second coach from Knight Riders to slip into the role of English coach. Trevor Bayliss, the Australian who was in charge when KKR won the two IPL titles in 2012 & 2014, went on to take the hot seat later.

England last month unveiled New Zealand-born Ben Stokes as their new Test captain, hoping for a swift turnaround under the talismanic all-rounder after a tame end to Joe Root’s five years in charge.

England face New Zealand in a three-match home series in June.